The definition of a simple faith is not a small sentence with the most minimum of doctrine. A simple faith is wanting to believe. But this isn’t good enough for our 21st Century mindset that has to have not just happiness but fulfillment, not just wellness but fitness, not just devotion but radical commitment.
When it comes to our Growing Up, what if we were satisfied with the faith that we have because we know that we are not ultimately responsible for our spiritual lives. If faith is a gift then whatever miniscule amount that we possess didn’t come from our own doing but was given to us by God. Our job is to take our faith, as diminished as it may be, and offer it to God and ask him to build on it and then start practicing proven methods to provide a context to Grow our faith – namely prayer, worship, scripture reading, and service.
Lately, I have wrestled with some serious doubts but that didn’t stop me from worshipping, fasting, praying, reading the Psalms, writing this blog, and listening for God last week. My faith is still strong even though my understanding about how God works and what he is trying to accomplish in my life may be in doubt.
When a former student told James Bryan Smith that she hadn’t experienced God in a while and was worried about her spiritual life and her future in ministry, Smith responded with, “I have never seen your faith stronger.” His point was that despite the dryness of her life with Christ at the moment she hadn’t wavered from her commitment and her discipline in matters of faith. The lack of present experiences with God was not a sign of her lack of faith. The fact that in despite of all she was missing her practices were still frequent, dedicated, and intense showed that she was open and available for something greater, richer, and deeper. According to Smith, she found it and her ministry has flourished and been fruitful.
Dallas Willard says:
I never worry about someone who wants to believe, because I know that they already believe enough to want to believe more. If they did not already believe a great deal they would not even want to believe. That is why God says to us through the prophet Jeremiah, “You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all of your heart” (Jer. 29:13). Why? Because only faith would lead you to seek God with all of your heart.
Not feeling it during worship? You still have faith. Relationships not working out? You still have faith. Doubts present when they were not there before? You still have faith.
Remember what we have faith in? The God of the universe who is pleased with you and loves you and never turned his back on his creation. The God who provided us his son to learn from, to demonstrate divine love, and to sacrifice his perfect life for the sole benefit of an often ungrateful but always sinful people.
A simple faith is wanting to believe and a realization that God has exactly what I need. That is enough for God and should be enough for us. God can use this simple faith to build on. Will we let him?